There's just the five games in the Premier League this weekend due to team’s commitments in the FA Cup quarter-finals but that doesn’t mean the action that will take place will be any less important.
Title chasing Chelsea take on top four hopefuls Tottenham in what is probably the most eagerly anticipated clash of the weekend. West Brom and Manchester United face each other where both managers are under pressure. Crystal Palace will hope to take the scalp of Southampton to give themselves a little breathing space in the bid beat the drop; whilst the bottom two, Cardiff City and Fulham, meet in a relegation six pointer, and both Norwich City and Stoke City will want three points to ease their relegation fears.
With all that in mind, here are five players to watch in the Premier League this weekend.
Robin Van Persie
Van Persie complained about his team-mates playing in the spaces he wanted to play in shortly after Manchester United’s loss to Olympiakos in the Champions League. His performance will be worth watching closely, and it will be interesting to see if there is a change in approach to allow the Dutchman to play like he wants to.
Fulham boss Felix Magath has been holding back the signing from Olympiakos because of an injury problem but there is a chance he could be handed his debut this weekend in Fulham’s crucial trip to Cardiff City – a relegation six-pointer.
Puncheon joined Crystal Palace from Southampton in the summer and made his move permanent in the January window. He has scored a couple of important goals at Selhurst Park this season for Palace, so will he provide his side with one against his old club?
The relief was there for all to see when Roberto Soldado scored the winning goal for Tottenham against Cardiff City last weekend. Tim Sherwood has said he just needed one of his chances to go in. Now one of them has gone in, can he back it up with another goal this weekend and help Spurs to a big result against Chelsea?
Hoolahan took the odd course of action of not celebrating his goal against Aston Villa – a club he hasn’t played for. He is a very good footballer and could be the catalyst to his side staying up this season, but it will be interesting to see the kind of reception he gets from Norwich fans this weekend.
image: © little-pete